Is Low Testosterone Bad?

Is low testosterone bad

Is Low Testosterone Bad?

Testosterone is a key hormone that affects various aspects of health, including metabolic rate, sex drive, and muscle and bone health. Having a lower-than-normal level of this hormone can hurt your health. Unfortunately, low testosterone levels (commonly called low T) is not uncommon in older males (and increasingly in younger men). But is having a low testosterone level a bad thing?

Although low testosterone is not usually associated with serious illness, recent research has uncovered links between low testosterone and many medical conditions. Low testosterone has been found to affect men and women, both physically and mentally, and the research into this condition is uncovering more related issues by the day. 

According to the Urology Care Foundation figures, about 2.1% of men suffer from low testosterone, and the number increases with age. About 1% of young men below 50 years have low T, while the number jumps to 50% of men in their 80s. In reality even more men are likely to be suffering from the symptoms as some men experience symptoms at levels higher than those used by the UCF. Hence, it is important to understand how low testosterone affects our body, why it happens, and what you can do to prevent it. Read on for further detailed discussion about low testosterone and its impact on your health. 

What are some health concerns associated with low testosterone? 

Having a low testosterone level can have quite an impact on different body systems. In some cases, the effects can be quite serious and can affect your quality of life as well. That being said, there are treatments to get the condition under control and prevent and even reverse the ill effects of low testosterone in your body. 

Before we brief on how low testosterone is addressed medically, let’s understand its impact on your overall health. 

Effects on mental health

Testosterone plays a pivotal role in maintaining your mental health as it does your body. The cognitive effects of low testosterone are usually the first to arrive. Some of the issues with low testosterone include depression and low self-belief. Some people might even see a hit to their confidence if they have chronically low testosterone levels. There is ample evidence that low testosterone can accelerate age-related memory loss in men.   

Some studies have also revealed a connection between low testosterone, impaired sleep patterns, and low energy levels. Having sleep disturbances can lead to an increased risk of stroke and cardiac events. 

Researchers have also studied the cognitive effects of low testosterone in detail, and men with low testosterone have been found to have memory issues and issues with cognitive function

Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) can help men with low T get their testosterone levels back to normal and reverse most of the mental effects discussed above. TRT is generally considered a safe option to treat low T, and thousands of men have found it useful in combating the symptoms of low testosterone. 

Effect on metabolism and weight gain

Obesity and weight gain are yet more common effects that low testosterone have on your body. As testosterone is a key hormone that regulates your metabolism, a decline in its level can potentially turn down your metabolic activity leading to weight gain. 

The connection between low testosterone and obesity does not end here either. Fat cells in your body have the ability to convert testosterone into estrogen, the female sex hormone via the enzyme aromatase, which appears more in fat tissue. As more and more testosterone is converted into estrogen, your levels fall, and you stand the risk of developing a testosterone deficiency. Furthermore, obese men also produce less of the protein called sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), which is essential to transport testosterone in the blood. Consequently, the level of free testosterone declines. 

As you can imagine, obesity and low testosterone have a complex relationship. Low testosterone can put you at greater risk of obesity, which in turn decreases the level of testosterone in the body, creating a vicious cycle of suppressed testosterone production. This is because the oestrogen in the male body works on a feedback loop to the brain – too much and the brain assumes there is too much testosterone and prevents the further release of LH and FSH, which are responsible for stimulating testosterone production in the testicles.

Effect on muscle mass

Testosterone is an important endogenous anabolic steroid in your body. It is responsible for muscle growth and maintenance of muscle tissue. As you can imagine, having a low level of this key hormone might cause issues with gaining and maintaining muscle mass. Low testosterone has been shown to cause muscular dystrophy and problems with healing musculoskeletal injuries. 

If you have a lower-than-normal level of testosterone, not only would you find it difficult to build muscle mass, you will have a hard time maintaining what you already have as well. Lower muscle mass can make you prone to injuries and even mental health issues. 

Effect on energy levels

Low T has also been linked to low energy levels and chronic fatigue in older men. Men with low testosterone levels might find it difficult to sustain prolonged physical activity, including exercise and physical work. 

Many men might find it difficult to go through their day as they feel exhausted and low on energy when the testosterone levels fall in their bodies. Having chronic fatigue is one of the most common signs of low testosterone. 

Effects on other body systems

Apart from the effects that we discussed above, low testosterone can also affect other body systems. One of the most common effects of low testosterone is on bone health. Lack of testosterone can initiate a demineralization process in the bones that causes the bones to lose density and become brittle. Men with low testosterone can also experience an accelerated rate of hair fall. 

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ADAM Questionnaire

Low Testosterone Test

The ADAM questionnaire has been shown to have 88% sensitivity in testing for low testosterone.

How is low testosterone diagnosed? 

If you think you might have low testosterone, then it can be daunting, but luckily there are treatments from Optimale that are extremely effective. The first thing to do is to check that your symptoms are indicative of low testosterone with our ADAM questionnaire. If your symptoms indicate low testosterone then you can find out whether your levels are low and your symptoms aren’t being caused by another issue by ordering a blood test here.

As the levels of testosterone show diurnal variations, you might have to get the test done multiple times to get a fair idea of your average testosterone level. Testosterone levels are the highest during the morning and fall as the day progresses. Hence, ensure that you get the test done early in the morning, preferably before eating.

Blood Test

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When to seek help? 

When it comes to treating low testosterone, there are several treatment options. Injectables are the most popular and effective, but not right for everybody. Other men prefer creams that can be applied to the skin and avoid injections. 

Optimale is one of the top clinics in the UK and specialises in determining whether you require TRT and the best treatment for you. Some men self-medicate, but this is not recommended due to health risks if you are not carefully monitored by a doctor. There are also risks to buying medication illegally and also with travel and work.

The takeaway

Low testosterone can have a serious impact on your overall health, and you should not ignore the signs of this condition. If you have any reason to suspect that you are suffering from a low testosterone level, then contact us below or complete our ADAM questionnaire. You can then discuss all of your treatment options and get yourself familiarised with the associated risks. 

It is possible to treat low testosterone very effectively, and with the right treatment, you can get back to your previous self. 

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